Saturday, 14 December 2013

We were concerned about the findings and the process

This project has had a primary aim, namely to consider how contextual influences influence the take-up of professional development opportunities by academics in South African universities. The research design has been participatory, where the investigators are members of centres for teaching and learning, and thus have a key stake in the outcome of the research. The data has been collected at macro and micro levels: we analyzed national higher education policies and initiatives; we interviewed senior managers at each institution and we interviewed a minimum of ten lecturers at each of the institutions. we also generated descriptive and reflective reports on the conditions for teaching and learning at each institution. By December 2013 we have collected all the data (over 120 interviews transcribed) and have completed four of the eight case studies and have sent a number of manuscripts to journals.

It became clear early on in the project that the attention was both on the research findings and on the research process: we were concerned to build the research capacity of the team members and to reflect on the optimal conditions for researchers to collaborate and support each other's identity development as researchers. Here we were in session, learning about social realism, coding and talking about collaboration:

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